why are some pils smaller than others, while containing the same amount of active ingredient?

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Take paracetamol for example, some 500mg tablets are so small, while other 500mg are gigantic? What benefit is there to making gigantic tablets? Seems like they’re just harder to swallow.

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Different amounts of non-active ingredients are added to every pill so they are released into your body at a different rate. If the pill itself is only 500 mg of things it would just dissolve almost immediately. A larger pill would take longer to dissolve.

Faster acting drugs are usually given in liquid form (shot or syrup) so they don’t bother making pills out of it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Different amounts of non-active ingredients are added to every pill so they are released into your body at a different rate. If the pill itself is only 500 mg of things it would just dissolve almost immediately. A larger pill would take longer to dissolve.

Faster acting drugs are usually given in liquid form (shot or syrup) so they don’t bother making pills out of it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The amount of actual drug (API) in a pill is generally on the order of 10% or so. Everything else (excipients) has another job. Some of it is just bulking. A pill must be large enough to pick up easily with two fingers, and small enough to easily swallow. 500mg of powder will compact to a grain of sand, so there is stuff just to make it bigger. Then there are bits that swell when they come in contact with water that allow the pill to break up easily in the digestive system, there are greasy bits that lubricate the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the tablet presses and other handling machinery, parts that reduce static electricity, parts that make some of the API harder to dissolve so that you can have extended release. And then there are colors and pigments. These help you differentiate between two pills, and they also can have marketing implications, i.e. Viagra is a blue diamond. Since each drug has different requirements each pill will have different excipients in different ratios. Pharma companies have entire departments who spend all their time figuring this stuff out and it makes the difference between an ineffective and an effective therapy.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The amount of actual drug (API) in a pill is generally on the order of 10% or so. Everything else (excipients) has another job. Some of it is just bulking. A pill must be large enough to pick up easily with two fingers, and small enough to easily swallow. 500mg of powder will compact to a grain of sand, so there is stuff just to make it bigger. Then there are bits that swell when they come in contact with water that allow the pill to break up easily in the digestive system, there are greasy bits that lubricate the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the tablet presses and other handling machinery, parts that reduce static electricity, parts that make some of the API harder to dissolve so that you can have extended release. And then there are colors and pigments. These help you differentiate between two pills, and they also can have marketing implications, i.e. Viagra is a blue diamond. Since each drug has different requirements each pill will have different excipients in different ratios. Pharma companies have entire departments who spend all their time figuring this stuff out and it makes the difference between an ineffective and an effective therapy.